Tuesday, September 12, 2006

What's on my mind today

Nothing really... no new insights on the human condition... nothing new on the quantum physics front... In fact, it's something everybody already knows! What's on my mind today is music.

I've done a lot of driving over the past few days and have been enjoying listening to the music on my iPod. And it struck me how amazing music is. It makes us laugh and cry. It can teach and inspire. Music can be bubblegum fluff songs that have a good beat and just make you happy. It can bring you to tears over the tragedy the story tells. Music can make us want to dance. It can make us want to praise God. It creates memories like no other vehicle, in my humble opinion. Art and poetry just doesn't do it for me like music does. This is what really got me thinking.

My thinking started last week when I received a package in the mail. It was from a dear old friend from high school. She had sent me a CD of Modern English which had the song "I Melt with You" on it. My friend and I have recently reconnected and I told her how, over the years, every time I heard that song on the radio, I thought of her. And in particular, I was reminded of our Grade 12 trip to Quebec City. So I was very pleasantly surprised when I received this CD - it brought back so many memories.

So as I've been putting the miles on my car, I started thinking of all the songs that bring back memories for me. I thought I'd share just a few of the oddball memories that popped into my head:

- driving to and from my co-op job one hot summer in my 1978 (?) Pontiac Sunbird... I listened to Bruce Cockburn and Elvis Costello there and back... and over and over again. I can't hear either one of them without being transported back to that road and that car.

- Terence Trent D'Arby (remember this guy?) - I bought a tape (what I realize now was a pirated version) at a market stall in Turkey when I travelled through Europe. I also am reminded of various places throughout Europe when I listen to Eurythmics and Sting. Who needs pictures of the Notre Dame when you have music to bring pictures to your mind?

- I travelled through the Rockies when visiting my cousin in Alberta. I couldn't get any radio stations and the car I rented didn't have a CD player. So I bought one tape (Eric Clapton - Unplugged) and I listened to it probably 100 times. I can't hear a single song on that album without picturing the beautiful mountains in front of me... with gorgeous clear blue lakes beside me.

- The Statler Brothers (see my list below). My parents played the Statler Brothers a lot and the album on my list is one of theirs. It's not available on CD or vinyl anymore (I've checked). I grew up listening to this album and I still love it. Their version of "How Great Thou Art" will forever be the version to compare to. And I still listen to this regularly and am immediately brought back to sitting in front of the 3 foot high speakers in my parents living room, singing along with them.

I think that's why many people love listening to the songs that they listened to when they were teenagers. So much teenage angst and emotion... so much fun with friends....so many memories being created.... All those songs (horrible as they may be - I was a teenager throughout the 80's so enough said) bring back memories from that time.

Since my children have been born, I haven't listened to "my" music nearly enough. We listen to Raffi, Barney (ugh), Sharon Lois & Bram and Laurie Berkner to name a few. But I hope to create good childhood memories for my children with music. I hope they remember listening to Raffi as we drove down to African Lion Safari (I do!). I hope they remember dancing in the dining room with Mom as we listened to our Signing Time CDs. I hope they remember falling asleep to Sunday School Songs on their tape player.

Finally, here's a list of my favourite albums. These are in no particular order. And they are not necessarily my favourite artists. These are albums I can listen to over and over again and not skip a single song on the album.

1. Tapestry by Carole King
2. Famous Blue Raincoat by Jennifer Warnes
3. Graceland by Paul Simon
4. Self titled album by the Indigo Girls
5. How Great Thou Art by the Statler Brothers

There's a song by ABBA that says it well, although it is a bit corny. (Just as an aside, ABBA is my all-time favourite band, and yes, Tom still loves me despite this little quirk). In their song "Thank you for the music" they say,

...."And I've often wondered, how did it all start. Who found that nothing can capture a heart like a melody can? Well, whoever it was, I'm a fan".


Anonymous said...

Hi Annette,

My 3 kids were forced to listen to a lot of my music at the cottage when they were young and we have adopted "our" songs. When I hear them on the radio I immediately think of my children and the wonderful times we shared at the cottage.
Ashley - In my daughter's eyes - Martina McBride
Andrew - It had to be you - Harry Connick Jr.
Heather - What a wonderful world - Louis Armstrong

It's great to share music with our children and my hope is that they will share it with theirs someday too.

Oh, and by the way, I did Lois's kitchen of Sharon, Lois and Bram. She's amazing, quite the DIVA and still singing up a storm for kids.

Annette, you are in are thoughts and prayers.


Clare said...

Annette, what an amazing post. Music is so important to me as well, and thankfully that seems to have passed on to my kids too. Your favourite albums are some of mine as well (well, except for the Stadler Brothers!)

Betsy said...

Halfway through this post, I was ready to leave "Tapestry" as a suggestion to you! Like you, I can listen to that over and over and over again.

Assuming you are somewhere near the same age as I am (I'm 42), I have two more suggestions for you.

"Coming Around Again" by Carly Simon - I think you would love the lyrics to some of these songs at this time in your life (and it even has a version of Itsy Bitsy Spider on it for the kids!)

And when you need to be uplifted, I totally recommend Meatloaf: Bat Out of Hell - really,really LOUD --if that doesn't make you feel 17 again, nothing will!!

Annette said...

Betsy... I had to laugh at your suggestion of Meatloaf... Actually, that IS one of my favourite albums as well! It just didn't make it to the Top 5. One of my other ones (and obviously from the 80's) is the Monks - Bad Habits. I'll have to check out Carly Simon!

Kris said...

I am just starting to rediscover "my" music too. I will pull out those old CD's, well actually I guess I would have to go to records to remember it all. Anyhoo, loved reading your post and it inspired me. I want an IPOD too!

Lisa Huckleberry said...

Awwww the beauty of music! You captured it so beautifully and perfect! And Tapestry by Carol King is one of my all time favorites as well! I remember being little and my older sister and brother always were playing it! I love it to this day! And hey don't feel bad about the ABBA thing - they were actually my very first favorite band! And my brother in law - still loves them! lol